tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 2, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PDT
from cnn world headquarter in atlanta, this is cnn "sunday morning." the lights are up, the stage is set, and the telephone teleprompters ready to roll. zeal a pwe'll have a preview. the threat is over but a new one emerges. a dam under threat of the failing. he's on the student council, sings in the choir, and now is headed to the dnc. i'll talk with the convention's youngest reporter. good sunday morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. it is 7:00 on the east coast. 4:00 on the west. thanks for starting your morning with us. we start this morning with news of mandatory evacuations. in st. tammany parish, louisiana, it is the latest problem caused by heavy rain
from isaac. up to 2,000 people are being told to leave their homes because a canal lock in the pearl river is at risk of failing. that could flood entire neighborhoods. the river is practically overflowing. and it's not just the canal locks. water is about to overtop the banks in another part of the river, as well. and that would flood 35 subdivisions. on the phone with us now is cnn's george howell, on his way to that area this morning. george, good morning. what's being done actually to prevent the lock from failing? >> reporter: hi, good morning. we've been on the phone with these officials, and what we've learned is they opened about -- lock two. that will take some of the pressure off the pearl river. but again, this is an hour-by-hour affair. people are watching this river very closely. just a minute ago i spoke with someone who lives in that area that would be affected. she said that, you know, she's been keeping a very close ear to
the radio, watching the local news, trying to find out if she needs to pack up and get out of this area. she said with isaac they almost got water in the home and now she's concerned that she's not in the clear yet. so people are watching closely. >> how high is the river, and why is it rising now? >> reporter: so the river from what we last checked, randi, around 18 feet. now, flood stage is 16 feet. so it's above flood stage. and when you look at the data of other rivers in that same area, you find the same thing. a nearby river is also very high right now. and the reason for it is because of all the rainfall over the last several days from hurricane isaac. that storm now passed off, but certainly we are still feeling the effects here. all of that water has to go somewhere. gone down into these rivers, tributaries, and it's all flowing out. and now we're seeing these communities that could be flooded.
>> and as we talk about what's happening there, what about the evacuations? we're talking about a couple thousand people. where are they going, and how long might they have to be out of their homes? >> reporter: you find some people who are staying with friends, relatives, some i'm sure are going to nearby shelters. this is the sort of thing where we're talking about thousands of people who have to have some sort of plan to leave their home behind and hope they can return to the home. and right now, i should say that river -- nothing has changed. the river is still stable, but there's concern that things could change. >> a lot of concern there. well warranted, as well. george howell, thank you very much. >> reporter: thanks. to politics now. president obama heads to colorado today, continuing his preconvention push in the swing
states. he was in iowa yesterday while mitt romney hit ohio and florida. the democratic convention starts to tuesday. cnn political editor paul steinhauser is in charlotte, north carolina, this morning well ahead of the president. paul, good morning. when are the delegates supposed to arrive there in charlotte? >> reporter: well, some of the delegates are actually already here in charlotte. there were democratic party meetings yesterday. some of the delegates took part. we're going to see a lot more flooding in today and tomorrow. we've got the carolina fest tomorrow, a big festival that includes music, food, and a little bit of politics. some of them will be this. of course on tuesday, behind me here or there, both ways, that's the time-warner cable arena. that's when the convention gets underway. the first order of business tuesday late afternoon will be ratifying the platform and the rules. randi? >> there's also been some talk about a rift between the democrats and the unions because of the convention being held in charlotte. what can you tell us it that? >> reporter: well, the location is the key here.
remember, north carolina is a right to work state. when the obama campaign and democrats announced this is where the convention would be, unions, i think it's fair to say, were not so enthusiastic about that. we've seen and will see less union participation in this convention. and probably less union money. a lot less union money going toward the convention. is there a rift between the unions and obama campaign? they tell me no. [ inaudible ] >> reporter: they say there is no rift whatsoever. >> all right. we know the president will be in colorado today as we said. where is he headed tomorrow? >> reporter: well, that's right, iowa yesterday, tomorrow he's going to be in ohio, another important battle grinnground st. he will go to louisiana to tour the damage from hurricane isaac. tuesday's virginia, then here to north carolina, another battleground state. guess who's going to be in north carolina tomorrow? the day before the democratic convention starts? paul ryan, the republican
running mate. that's right. remember last week, joe biden, the vice president, was supposed to be right there in tampa on the day of the republican convention starting. hurricane isaac rained that stuff out. >> right. all right. interesting planning for sure. all right. paul steinhauser, thank you very much. the chief of staff for immigration and customs enforcement or i.c.e. is out of a job this morning. suzanne barr has resigned amid allegations that she helped create a culture of sexual discrimination against men. it follows a discrimination lawsuit filed by new york's i.c.e. chief against the department of homeland security. james hayes says he was passed over for promotions in favor of less qualified women. he contends barr "created a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees." federal investigators are trying to figure out what caused a plane to explode in front of thousands of spectators in iowa killing the pilot. everything started out normally with three planes flying in formation yesterday at the quad city air show. then all of a sudden, one of the
planes nose-dived into a field while attempting a 45-degree bank. >> uh-oh. >> uh-oh. >> no, no, no -- >> he's down! >> no! oh, no. >> witnesses watched in horror as the plane exploded into a giant fireball once it hit the ground. >> we saw two of them strip away like they were going to do another maneuver. the one was headed toward like -- back toward where it came from. he went nose down into the ground and burst into flames. i was instantly in tears because i knew more than likely that he didn't survive. >> that pilot hasn't yet been identified. officials temporarily halted the show for about an hour. in oregon, three people are recovering this morning after a mishap at a monster truck event. you're about to see video showing an out-of-control truck driving straight into the panicked crowd. [ screams ]
>> an onlooker captured this video on his cell phone as the truck headed for a mud pit in fro front of the crowd. the rear wheels on the truck spun out in the mud, the driver said, and crashed through a barricade. hundreds of journalists will be in charlotte this week to cover the democratic national convention. but one is standing out for a very special reason. he's only 13, and you're going to meet him. it's time to live wider awake. only the beautyrest recharge sleep system combines the comfort of aircool memory foam layered on top of beautyrest pocketed coils to promote proper sleeping posture all night long. the revolutionary recharge sleep system... from beautyrest. it's you, fully charged.
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welcome back. 12 minutes past the hour. can you remember what you were doing at age 13? my next guest already dreams of attending harvard and running a fortune 500 company. >> i'm andrew liang, scholastic kid report in johns creek located in suburban atlanta, georgia. i will be speaking to the principal and the teachers here about the current state of education and how students and staff are improving it. >> andrew liang is a scholastic news kid reporter, as he told us. he's getting ready to head to charlotte to cover the democratic national convention. and he is stopping by our studio this morning to give us a little time before you head to the convention. good morning. >> thank you very much. >> how nice to have you here. so you're heading to the convention. first off, i'm curious how you became a scholastic kid news reporter. >> i've always loved to write, and i love watching reporting on
tv like cnn. and when they had the opportunity, i jumped at the chance. >> you had to give a writing sample or how -- >> yes. there were a couple of writing samples i had to give. one was about what made my community special. the other was about how i would make a good scholastic kid reporter. >> so tell me who are you looking forward to speaking with? are you going to get access at the convention? >> i hope so. i'm very excited about the convention. and anyone i could interview would be great, especially the top highlights including president obama and other democratic party officials. >> what about michelle sfwhoim if you had a chance to talk to her, what do you think you'd ask her? >> i'd have to think about that. but i think it would be a great opportunity to talk to her. >> yeah. let's talk about some of your previous interviews. they're pretty impressive. i got to tell you, one was newt gingrich. how did you get access to him? >> during the republican presidential primaries, we were at one of his campaign stops
here in atlanta, georgia. and i got the chance to ask him a couple of questions. >> and what did he have to say? anything stand out. >> i can't say i remember the exact questions, but it was a great experience. >> actor jack black, i'm sure a memorable interview. >> very memorable. he was very funny. he was at zoo atlanta for the naming of an atlanta zoo panda. >> i love the picture of the two of you together. he was kind of fun? >> yes. he was extremely funny. >> who's been your toughest interview so far? >> my toughest interviews? i'd have to see my interviewees were all very cooperative. his a great time. toughest interview -- >> if gets harder. trust me. they're not always so cooperative. so what are you planning to ask some of the folks at the convention? >> the folks -- for example, if i had the opportunity to interview the president, i would
love to ask him -- he's been president for four years, and what he thinks are the highlights of his first term and what he would like to accomplish in his second term. >> i spoke to some of your colleagues last sunday who were covering the republican convention. all of you are so talented. it's so nice to see. but i asked them what issues they would like to see obama and romney address. i know you're passionate about the issue of bullying. >> that's right. >> why does that concern you, and what would you lake to see happen with that? what other issues would you like them to address? >> first of all, bullying, i think it's a big issue between kids -- especially since i'm in eighth grade. i go to middle school here in atlanta, georgia. i think it's important to address bullying. we don't have many situations like that at our school, but i think it's skill very important to make sure kids know that bullying is completely not right. and i'd also like to see the president and romney address top
issues including foreign policy and education because it concerns kids, and so other things like health care. >> very, very good. of course, you're planning on going to harvard, right? so education is very important to you. >> i would hope so. >> you have your sights set. who would be a dream interview? if you could interview anyone in the world, who would it be? >> anyone in the world -- >> yeah. >> i think the president would be a very good interview. i've always respected and admired the leader of the united nations, ban ki-moon. that would be an something interview. all of the interviews are dream interviews. every single time i do an interview, i think this is a dream come true. >> that's great. so nice to see somebody your age so passionate about this business and journalism. it's really nice to see. so thank you, andrew. and good luck. >> thank you very much. >> good luck at the convention. i hope you get that interview with the president. if so, you bring it to us, okay? >> all right. yes, ma'am. >> nice to se you. the civil war in syria is
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the u.n. says more than 18,000 people have died since the syrian uprising began. more than a year and a half ago. the violence is showing no signs of stopping. [ gunfire ] >> heavy shelling is being reported in the city of hmooms d in aleppo. the crisis is spilling over the border as hundreds of thousands flee the violence in camps across jordan, lebanon, iraq, and turkey.
nick robertson is on the turkish syrian border this morning. good morning. how bad is the refugee crisis becoming? >> reporter: the turkish government say they're struggling to handle it. there are thousands of refugees stuck on the syrian side of the border. the turkish authorities won't allow them across. they already have 80,000 refugees here. they're building three more camps that should be ready in the next few weeks that will house another 30,000 refugees. part of the problem for the turkish authorities, though, is they have almost 20,000 refugees in schools and government buildings. the schools here restart in a couple of weeks. so half that new capacity will be taken up by existing refugee here. the concern is if they open the borders to freely allow syrians across the border, more and more people will flock across. what we're seeing is people driven to the borders when their villages are bombed. the free syrian army are telling us they can sort of create safe areas on the ground to stop military forces attacking by
ground. but they can't stop the artillery and can't stop the -- the bombs dropping from aircraft. and that's where we're seeing so many people now being pushed across the borders. >> yeah. and yesterday, nick, rebel fighters say they captured an air defense base in eastern syria. the government obviously has the advantage in the air at this point. is this the latest tactic, do you think, by the opposition? >> reporter: it's looking that way. i was talking to people from the free syrian army yesterday. they told me that they're trying to capture an air base, as well, in the west of the country, close to the border with turkey. they haven't been able to do that yet. it -- they say they've destroyed helicopters on the runway. hard to confirm claims. does appear as if the air base in the east of the country is now under rebel control. free syrian army control. the reason is simple, they say. if they control the air bases, that stops fighter planes from taking off and dropping bomb on them. of course the syrian government
has plenty of other air bases with aircraft with long enough range to target anywhere in the country. that does seem to be part of their strategy. also when you look at other conflicts, if they get control of those air bases, there's always that possibility they could fly in much-needed supplies themselves. certainly if they get international backing and support for it. so there's a double incentive to get those big concrete strips air bases. >> do you have any information on reports of new explosions in damascus, as well? >> reporter: yeah. we're getting reports from the state news agency in syria that two ieds went off in damascus. they say four people wounded. these appear to have gone off in the center of damascus close to a security battalion building is how we understand it at the moment. we don't have more details. there's certainly the images that we're getting from the state news agency in syria appears to show smoke rising up in that area. of course, the battle around
damascus has been intense. the government trying to reclaim control of many of those suburbs. for the free syrian army and the rebels, damascus, if they with k win parts of that, that's really going to unsettle bashar al assad. >> no question about that. nick robertson for us on the border with syria. nick, thank you very much. well, if you think that you have a busy week ahead, just wait until you hear about president obama's schedule. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. covering 2,000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. at&t. rethink possible.
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try capzasin-hp. it penetrates deep to block pain signals for hours of relief. capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arthritis. welcome back. we have a pbig week ahead. on monday, president obama is going to louisiana, he's going to view the storm damage from hurricane isaac. as you know, romney beat him to the punch there. he was there earlier, but obama will go. on tuesday, the famous book called "no easy day," written by the navy s.e.a.l. that's expected to come out. it was supposed to come out on 9/11. we of course is been following the developments because the navy s.e.a.l. who written the book could face federal charges. also on tuesday, the democratic national convention kickf.